Messages of Distinction: the HIV/AIDS Media Campaign in Thailand

Chris Lyttleton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


In predominantly rural Thailand, television is a primary source of HIV/ AIDS knowledge. Since 1990, HTV/AIDS warning messages have been aired regularly and repeatedly on television as part of the national strategy to minimize transmission of HIV. The education and prevention messages chosen do more than suggest measures to avoid infection. Within a logic of risk, these messages also define characteristics of people who are signified as threatening agents of infection. In Thailand, prostitutes and drug users are portrayed as the feared Other. Because commercial sex is so widespread, the demarcation of prostitutes as a high risk group signals a diffuse threat not easily subject to conceptual distancing. It is the pervasive and often fear-based associations born of the media material that, in large part, establish the basis for emergent practice when thoughts or actions are triggered by consideration of HIV/AIDS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-389
Number of pages27
JournalMedical Anthropology
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1994


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